Introduction to Teaching


Key Points:

  • Sure, you can teach on-the-fly without any training, but few people do this well.
  • Research exists to guide you in your journey to becoming the most effective teacher possible.
  • Attributes of great teachers:
    • Willing to invest time 
    • Care about the students
    • Have a culture of respect in the classrom
    • Strive for excellence
    • Have positive relationships with other teachers
    • Master their subject
    • Constantly strive to learn more about their subject
    • Classroom persona is consistent, interesting and interested
    • Utilizes varying instructional methods (interactive lectures, problem-based learning, small group experiences, etc.)



  • Familiarize yourself with the basics of teaching theory
  • Become an expert in the topic you teach


Recommended Resources: 

Brief Review


Big Bang Teaching. 1 minute.

How do you make a teacher great? Bill Gates. 6 minutes each.
Part 1:
Part 2:

Turning medical education inside out and up-side down. Lawrence Sherman. TEDx Talks. 16 minutes.

What adults can learn from kids. Andora Svitak. TED Talks. 10 minutes.


Ralhan S, Bhogal P, Bhatnagar G, Young J, Green M. Effective teaching skills—how to become a better medical educator. BMJ Careers.

Markert RJ. What makes a good teacher? Lessons from teaching medical students. Acad Med. 2001 Aug;76(8):809-10. PubMed PMID: 11500281.

Gunderman RB. Ingredients of successful medical student teaching. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 May;182(5):1115-7. PubMed PMID: 15100104.

Best J. Teaching medical students - tips from the frontline. Aust Fam Physician. 2012 Jan-Feb;41(1-2):22-4. PubMed PMID: 22276279.

Cayley WE Jr. Effective clinical education: strategies for teaching medical students and residents in the office. WMJ. 2011 Aug;110(4):178-81; quiz 203. PubMed PMID: 22413628.


International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) Annual Meeting. Typically held in June of each year. $ Fee required


In-Depth Review


Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach it to Everyone). Elizabeth Green. 61 minutes.

On Becoming a Better Teacher: Practical Approaches, New Ideas. Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. iTunes U. 3 podcasts.


An Introduction to Medical Teaching edited by William B. Jeffries and Kathryn Huggett. 2010. 206 pages. $109

Best Practices in Medical Teaching (Cambridge Medicine) by Stephen M. Stahl and Richard L. Davis. 2011. 192 pages. $52

Chan TM, Thoma B, Lin M (Eds). (2014). Medical Education in Cases: Volume 1 (1st Edition). Digital File. San Francisco, CA; Academic Life in Emergency Medicine. ISBN: 978-0-9907948-0-6. Free.

Teaching Medicine Series - 6 Book Boxed Set. American College of Physicians. $139.95

Medical Student Faculty Teaching Responsibilities and Policies. Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Medical Teacher. An international journal of education in the health sciences.


Foundations of Teaching for Learning. Commonwealth Education Trust. Free access if you do not want a specialization certificate.

Principles of Medical Education: Maximizing your Teaching Skills. Harvard Medical School.,-d-,-Shapiro-Institute-for-Education-and-Research/CME.aspx